Recently I was asked to come aboard a project with some old friends of mine. I’d done visuals for these guys in their previous carnation “Zej”, and had also worked on an experimental video for them for this project.Prelude With Attitude

To explain, the project is a crossover of Classical music with Electronica, however unlike most electronic music, the rhythm was dictated via the Classical piece rather than a computer. Hence the name “Rubato” (Italian for: stolen time) a musical term referring to expressive and rhythmic freedom by a slight speeding up and then slowing down of the tempo. We are basically a cover band. Some of the composers we covered were Chopin, Beethoven, Rachmaninoff and Schubert.

Rubato - Live at Camden Forge

The nature of the style of music meant that I could not rely on looping animation that had strong pulses running through it. They needed to be more subtle and reflective of the music.

The audience wasn’t going to be a party crowd who’d come to dance either. They were there to watch and listen to the musicians and absorb the visual accompaniment. Most of those in the audience likely knew the music much better that I did too.

Rubato - Live at Camden Forge

Camera balance precariously over Mariana Haywood’s grand piano…

I decided that the best way to capture the essence of the music was to concentrate on the performers as much as possible. This meant getting as many cameras working through my NUVJ rig as possible without it crashing. A few trial runs at home proved that this was a risky option, but I had to go for it as it was the best course of action. Also I like giving myself anxiety attacks whist performing.
I’d worked out through trail and error a few basic performance rules:
1. Never cross the streams (Two cameras at once = crash)
2. Keeping camera feeds on separate channels
3. Do not move (CUE) cameras once NUVJ is running (Slightest movement = crash)

As long as I didn’t do any of these things, there was a good chance of not looking like a fucking idiot and having to reboot my computer half way through a performance.

Rubato - Camera

Anyway, long story short. No Crash.

Cameras worked brilliantly all night and added a nice live and human feel to the performance.

RUBATO - Live at Camden Forge



Below are some shots of the visuals I made for the performance.


Rubato - Aquarius

Rubato - Visual

Rubato - Visual

And here is a link to a video made of the night:


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